Past Event

Interrupting a Culture of Violence Against Women

What does #rape look like? From Steubenville to Maryville, how do we and the media respond to and depict male violence, masculinity, and the national epidemic of violence against women? What is rape culture, and how has it been impacted by technology and the widespread use of social networks? Salamishah Tillet, a rising feminist activist and scholar, will explore these questions and more in her talk, “How Ending Violence Against Women Will Save the World.”  Following her talk, Tillet will be in conversation with Beth Elaine Richie, Natalie Yvonne Moore, Sharmili Majmudar, and Jae Jin Pak, Claudia Garcia Rojas. 

Salamishah Tillet
As a rape survivor, scholar, and writer, Dr. Salamishah Tillet has spent her career championing the rights and voices of our most vulnerable citizens.   Nominated by Glamour magazine as a “Women of the Year” and named America’s “Top Leaders Under 30” by Ebony. Currently, she is an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and has faculty appointments in the Department of Africana Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.

She earned her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization and A.M. in English and American Literature from Harvard University and her Masters in the Art of Teaching from Brown University. This year, she will publish “Gloria Steinem: The Kindle Singles Interview” with Amazon and she is currently working on a book on the Civil Rights icon, Nina Simone.  

Claudia Garcia-Rojas is an expert consultant on issues of gender, violence, media, and culture. She has thirteen years of professional experience working as an anti-racism and anti-gender-based violence speaker, activist, organizer, and scholar. She most recently published a Media Toolkit for local and national journalists to better cover the issue of gender-based violence through The Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women. Claudia is a music journalist for Gozamos, a contributing writer at Chicago Indy Media, and formerly the editor of AREA Chicago. She commenced graduate studies in the Department of African American studies at Northwestern University in the Fall.

Sharmili Majmudar has worked for the liberation of communities from domestic and sexual violence for 20 years. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Rape Victim Advocates, a Chicago-based rape crisis center committed to ensuring that survivors of sexual assault are treated with dignity and compassion, and dedicated to affecting changes in the way the legal system, medical institutions and society as a whole respond to survivors.  

Natalie Moore is an award-winning reporter for WBEZ. Natalie’s work has been published in EssenceBlack Enterprise, the Chicago ReporterBitchIn These Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. She is co-author of the books “Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation” and “The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of an American Gang.”  

Jae Jin Pak is an educator, advocate, and ally. For over 20 years, he has worked on issues of mental health, ending men’s violence against women, disability, anti-oppression and cultural competency. He currently works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Asians with Disabilities Outreach Project Think-Tank (ADOPT) at UIC which works to connect Asians with disabilities to culturally and linguistically appropriate services and resources to reach meaningful employment.

Beth E. Richie is a sociologist who has been an activist and an advocate in the movement to end violence against women for the past twenty years. The emphasis of her work has been on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women’s experience of violence, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors. Dr. Richie is the Director of the Institute For Research on Race and Public Policy and Professor of  African American Studies Department and Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her most recent book is Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation.

Presented by the Illinois Humanities Council – The Public Square in partnership with the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Gender, UIC’s Gender and Women’s Studies and Social Justice Initiative, the McCormick Foundation’s Why News Matters Initiative, and Chicago Public Media.




The McCormick Foundation’s Why News Matters Initiative is a new grant making program designed to enhance news literacy skills and programs in Chicago.

Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580. Reserve your spot here! If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580.

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